What would you do?

Brent and I have to get rid of one of our vehicles. While it makes complete sense that we would be getting rid of our 12 year old, 240k mile, rusting, permanently dirty, paint chipping, no more clear coat, full of character and surprises car…instead, we are getting rid of the 3 year old, mint condition SUV. Why? It’s a leased vehicle (which we will NEVER do again) and it’s due back in September 😦 I have loved it, but hated the ridiculous payments. I am happy to say that we made our final payment this month and it passed the final inspection…so no more of our money will be flushed down the toilet for a car that was never really ours in the first place! Obviously, we’re in the market for a new car. And with a baby on the way, we’ve been looking into “family cars” a.k.a. large SUV’s and, need I say that horrible “v” word that screams MOM? Brent has been convinced for a while that a van is the best investment. Before baby was on the brain, I had my heart set on a new model Camry since 2007 when they came out. I figured when my Camry finally died, I could afford a used 2007 Camry. My precious 240k car is still kickin’ and it may look awful and really embarrass me in nice neighborhoods, but I’m dedicated to a Toyota Camry because mine has never caused me any issues…mechanically speaking. I’ve finally become okay with another larger sedan, such as a Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, or Saturn Aura. With a baby on the way, I’m thinking less of what I want and more of what will work best, all the while trying to remain a “cool mom.” So that’s where your opinion comes in. I’m in this for the long run. I don’t want to buy a car now, pay it off in 2-4 years then buy another one. Once it’s paid for, I’m driving that thing ’till it’s useless. We went to CarMax tonight and vetoed a small SUV, like the Saturn Vue, even though I really like the looks of it. A small SUV is about the same size as a large sedan, and after a dog crate, a schizo dog, stroller, pack -n- play, suitcases, baby food, diapers, toys, beach chairs, floats, you name it…there won’t be any room to breath. The choices are large SUV (Toyota Highlander or 4Runner, Saturn Outlook/GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot) or Van…there, I said it…a new model Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Here’s my thoughts:

Cool mom (esp. in the 4Runner because the back window rolls down…I’ve always loved that)
Room to grow
Room for vacation
Can get one with 3rd row if needed
Not as easy to get car seat in and out
Not a cool mom
Plenty of room, especially if the seats fold into the floor
Easy to get car seat in and out
Can serve similar to a truck if all seats are laid down
More room to grow than an SUV
Please vote in the poll and feel free to list any comments. Thanks for your input 🙂 I guess my real need is for you to tell me that I can be a cool mom no matter what I drive.

13 thoughts on “What would you do?

  • Umm, you can totally rock out the minivan – hello?! We've done it so many times now!! I'd say just go for it. Knowing people who have SUVs and two (or more) kids, it's not practical… they can't have too many friends over and stuff. And really, a cool mom is one that lets their kids have whatever they want – remember?! 😉 As for my mom's comment… I would have to say her minivan has been quite comfy on long trips and such, although embarassing for me to drive, but that's because I have no reason to drive it! So, I say go with the minivan – I'll still be your friend if you do, and THAT makes you cool. HAHAHA!!!

  • so, ill post as a mom. go with a van. we have had a small suv(honda crv), a large suv (ford expedition w/ 3rd row) and every time i drive the howards honda odyssey-hands down it is way better than the “cool” suvs.

    Alexs mom just let us use her Jeep Commander with a 3rd bench SUV and its HARD to get the kids up in the car. i can only imagine what it will be like to lift the baby seat….don't get me wrong I'm way thankful, but a van that the doors will just open and the kids can run in and i just pop the baby seat in sounds very nice 🙂

  • As a Mom who drives a Large SUV I love it. Miller is not quite 2 but I feel safe that if we were in a accident we are up and hopefully out of most of harms way. As far as lifting a car seat in and out it…it is one of those things you just get used to. Once they hit the 20 lb mark plus several pounds for the carrier and diaper bag it is hard to move them anywhere. We have a third row and I love that the seats fold into the floor. A MUST!! Our last vehicle had a removable 3rd row and it was TOO heavy for me…even Luke struggled with it…but don't tell him I said that. We have TONS of storage and space for long trips. No matter what you get you will find flaws. Also you will learn to adapt what you get to YOUR family needs.

  • I really like the Toyota Highlander. This is my dream vehicle. I have a Toyota Camry and love it, so I have always wanted to stay in the Toyota family. The next car we buy I really hope it is this one. It is low to the ground, has lots of space, and it is a Toyota.

  • Ok guys, I love my SUV. I have a Trailblazer and once I need a new one I'm planning on getting it's older sibling, the Tahoe. I have two kids and I have more room than I need. My boyfriend calls my truck a storage unit because I end up with so much in the back. There's plenty of room for vaca's, strollers, dogs, whatever you need. My seats even lay flat if I need them to. I never had trouble with car seats or anything like that. But all in all you do what's best for you guys.

  • You probably already know what I recommend as your grandfather. We don't have to be cool and that may be one reason we now own our third Toyota minivan. The one we now have is made for carrying a baby and all the household goods that are necessary. It is an eight passenger. The back seats fold flat. The center seat in the second row will hold the baby seat and slide close to the front seats making it easier to tend to the baby. It has an excellent safety rating and after 5000 miles it has averaged 24.6 mpg. Sorry, I can't give it to you and buy me another one.

  • Brittany – We have a Honda CR-V and right now, we just have Cole. I would like something slightly larger for our next vehicle, but I'm totally hooked on SUVs. Matter of fact, I do not want to own a car – ever! I like the SUV route. We've had plenty of room for strollers, car seats, shopping bags, luggage for trips, etc for our family of 3. We could even make it work for a family of 4 if needed, but I think we'll end up with a 4 Runner or something of that size next. You don't HAVE to get a mini-van just cause you're having kids. 🙂

  • I cannot believe you have actually said you will not be a cool mom if you drive a van. I am offended. I have been driving a van since 1993 and I am the coolest mom ever and you have said that you are just like me.

  • Ok, here's my two cents. I made it my mission when i started working at my current office to not let my friends/co-workers Meg and Craig get a mini. That was my mission! I brought them Consumer Reports and all kinds of propaganda to support my cause. Now, as i might or might not have told you, they just had baby #3. The oldest is 5, then 2.5, and now the infant. I learned a whole lot about cars and car seats. First off, if you have ever seen a second row seat in an SUV you know that there is very little space between 2 car seats, and that means no space for a 3rd pumpkin seat. Therefore, they had to think about a third row car. The oldest can buckle herself in, so it made perfect sense. They went for a nice new Highlander. It even has space in the back for a DOUBLE STROLLER!!! Plus its not high off the ground so its super easy to lift baby in and out and the middle seat of row 2 comes out so the oldest can crawl to the back and you still have other seats! SO, to drive my point home, if you plan on having more than 2 kids that will all be in booster/car seats at the same time, go for the 3rd row SUV. No way would i convince anyone to get a super un-cool mini ;).

  • Girl…let me tell ya…I'm right there with you on the van thing. I'm two babies up now and still 100% against a van. I'm happy with my Mazda 626 or Jim's jeep. Both serve the purpose well. When its time to move on up, I'm Tahoe or better yet Suburban all the way. I think it is mostly because I did not grow up with a van…the hubs did. Thats why he thinks its so cool. There is one tiny part of my heart that wants to be the “hot soccer mom”, is that wrong? But, in with being the “hot soccer mom” I believe its ineveitable, a van we must have…we'll see what the outcome is. I encourage you to stay strong…MAV (MOMS AGAINST VANS) all the way! Keep me posted!

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